Wet versus dry PU for headliner substrates – which is better?


Wet versus dry polyurethane foam. Thermoset vs thermoform. Which is better?

We partnered with a headliner manufacturer which uses both wet and dry processes to validate how Stratas 3D™, our latest generation of “dry” thermoform substrate boards, performs against typical in-production “wet” thermoset PU constructions for strength at room temperature, strength at elevated temperature, sag via weighted cantilever and environmental stability. Four in-production wet substrate boards were chosen to reflect the headliner market, with weights of 850GSM, 740GSM, 535GSM and 485GSM. Weight and thickness matching Stratas 3D™ substrate boards were then built for comparison.

At heavier weights (850GSM, 740gSM) Stratas 3D™ dry substrate boards performed just as well as wet headliner substrates. At lighter weights and thinner profiles, where the industry trend is heading, Stratas 3D™ significantly outperformed its wet counterpart. While the general market perception of wet being “better” than dry could have merit with other thermoform substrates, it simply isn’t true for Stratas 3D™, our latest generation of thermoformable headliner substrates.